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February 24, 2007
Contact: Molly de Ramel
(401) 863-2476

Meeting of the Brown Corporation
Corporation Approves 6.4% Budget Increase, Sets Tuition and Fees

The Corporation of Brown University has approved a fiscal year 2008 consolidated budget of $704.8 million, an 6.4-percent increase over FY07. Total undergraduate fees will rise 5.0 percent to $45,948, including a 5-percent rise in tuition to $35,584. The undergraduate financial aid budget will increase 10 percent over the University’s projected actual financial aid expenditures in the current year.

Other Corporation news:

  Corporation Summary
  Corporation Officers
  Robert Campus Center
  Rhodes Center
  Slavery and Justice

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. — At its regular winter meeting today (Saturday, Feb. 24, 2007), the Corporation of Brown University approved a consolidated budget of $704.8 million for fiscal year 2008. That amount – a 6.4-percent increase over FY07 – will sustain momentum for the University’s Plan for Academic Enrichment and support additional initiatives, including the University’s growing range of international relationships.

“The budget measures approved by the Corporation will sustain Brown University as it continues on a path of growth and enrichment for the long term,” said Brown Chancellor Stephen Robert. “The tempo of change is increasing, with benefits that reach broadly across the entire University community.”

The FY08 budget will fund continuing expansion of the Brown faculty, adding between 15 and 25 positions for the 2007-08 academic year. It will provide a 10 percent increase in undergraduate financial aid resources over what the University will have spent at the end of the current fiscal year to support need-blind undergraduate admission and to accommodate increased aid for international undergraduates. The budget also assumes an increase in graduate student stipends to $18,500 (up 46 percent since 2000-01). A two-year capital budget totaling $190 million through fiscal year 2009, was also discussed. The capital budget will allow the University to begin – and, in some cases complete – dozens of campus projects, including:

  • transformation of the recently vacated J. Walter Wilson Hall into a student services support center;
  • renovation of Faunce House as a student center;
  • renovation of Pembroke Hall as the new home of the Cogut Humanities Center and the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women;
  • construction of the new Nelson Fitness Center in the athletic complex;
  • renovation of Rhode Island Hall for the Joukowsky Center for Archaeology and the Ancient World;
  • construction of a building for the Department of Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences;
  • planning and design for a new creative arts building;
  • rehabilitation and expansion of the campus utilities infrastructure and first phases of landscaping and construction for the Campus Walk.

The budget recommendations for FY08 were developed by the University Resources Committee (URC), a 17-member planning body of faculty, students, staff and senior officers that meets year-round. The URC meets with each senior officer to review the budget challenges of various offices, departments and divisions and to understand the opportunities facing the University. The URC also holds periodic open meetings for the entire Brown community. It is chaired by Provost David I. Kertzer.

“As the Corporation requested last May, we now envision a bolder plan that will allow us to include critical areas, including international initiatives and the expansion of undergraduate housing,” said Brown President Ruth J. Simmons, who receives the URC report and presents budget recommendations to the Corporation. “The proposed budget for the 2008 fiscal year, together with new capital planning efforts, will support these initiatives.”

The University’s consolidated budget includes three separate budgets: University Education and General ($508.8 million, up 7.0 percent over FY07), Biology and Medicine ($120.0 million, up 4.4 percent), and Auxiliary Enterprises ($76.0 million, up 6.4 percent).


Tuition and student fees are the largest source of revenue for the University. The Corporation has approved a 5.0-percent increase in total undergraduate charges to $45,948 per year. That includes a 5-percent increase in tuition, to $35,584. Tuition for graduate students will also rise 5 percent to $35,584.

Undergraduate fees for a residence hall room will rise 4.7 percent to $5,958. The standard 20-meal contract with University Dining Services will rise 5.9 percent to $3,648. The health services fee will increase 4.4 percent to $612. Neither the Undergraduate Council of Students nor the Graduate Student Council requested an increase in their corresponding student activity fee; those will continue unchanged from the current year.

The Corporation also approved an increase of 10 percent in payout from the University’s endowment. With anticipated new gifts to endowment, this will provide a projected $85.4 million of endowment income to the budget, an increase of $9.8 million. University policy specifies that the draw on the endowment should be in the range of 4.5 to 5.5 percent of the endowment’s average market value during the last three years. For FY08, the endowment draw will be about 5.39 percent.

In addition to student fees and the endowment draw, which are the two prominent revenue sources under the Corporation’s direct control, the University also projects revenue from a variety of other sources, including:

  • Indirect cost recovery. Federal agencies and other sponsors of research reimburse the University for some of the overhead costs of conducting research. From 2001 to 2006, that support has grown annually by about 6.7 percent. The Education and General budget assumes a 5 percent increase in indirect cost recoveries in FY08.
  • Annual giving. Annual giving has been robust for many years, including a record 22-percent increase from fiscal 2005 to fiscal 2006. For fiscal year 2008, annual giving (including the Brown Annual Fund, the Brown Sports Foundation and the restricted gifts to financial aid) and is expected to total $38 million, up from the current-year projection of $35.6 million.
  • Balances and reserves. When it approved the Plan for Academic Enrichment in 2004, the Corporation authorized use of up to $50 million in reserve funds so that the enrichment agenda could move forward in anticipation of a comprehensive fund-raising campaign. With a projected $7.8 million to be used in FY08, the University will have used $25 million of the $50 million in reserves originally committed to the Plan.

Planned Expenditures

The budget approved today will continue to provide solid support for the priorities of the Plan for Academic Enrichment, including:

  • Faculty. The pace of faculty hiring at the University is increasing, with 75 searches underway for the 2007-08 academic year and an anticipated size of roughly 680, its largest ever. Average faculty salaries have been rising more rapidly than at peer institutions. The allocation for faculty salaries will increase by 5 percent in fiscal 2008.
  • Programs and initiatives. In recent years, Brown has established a number of multidisciplinary centers and programs in the humanities, social sciences, neuroscience and life sciences and is in the process of creating a new international initiative to strengthen and expand its institutional relationships worldwide. Most of these are already built into the University’s base budget. The fiscal 2008 budget adds $1.3 million to allow the Provost to continue meeting the needs of these programs.
  • Financial aid. Long one of the fastest growing expenditure categories, the financial aid budget will grow by 10 percent over the current year projected expenditures to $56.9 million. The University will spend nearly 40 percent more on programs of financial aid for international students during the next four years.
  • Computing. By the end of calendar year 2007, Brown will have completed the transition to Banner, an enterprise-wide software suite that will unify registration, admission, financial aid, student billing and other student services. The 2008 budget includes funding to cover the operating costs of the new system.
  • Reallocations. During the next five years, the University plans to reallocate $5.1 million of its base budget to support priorities of the Plan for Academic Enrichment. As part of their presentations to the URC last fall, senior officers summarized steps they could take to reduce their budgets in support of the reallocation. The plan calls for $2.35 million in reallocations for fiscal 2008, $1.03 million in fiscal 2009, and the balance by the end of 2011.